Michael Steinbach, assistant director of FBI‘s counterterrorism division, told a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that the bureau continues to monitor homegrown violent extremists and foreign fighters joining the Islamic State group.
In the testimony published Thursday on the FBI website, Steinbach told the subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations that the current threat of the Islamic State group is present both overseas and domestically due to radicalization.
He said that FBI’s concern centers on the group’s use of the Internet and social media to spread propaganda and communicate with supporters, especially lone offenders, to encourage and coordinate attacks within the U.S.
He also cited efforts by the U.S. and international partners to thwart small-scale attacks by homegrown violent extremists amid recent incidents in France, Australia and Canada.
“In conjunction with our domestic and foreign partners, we are rigorously collecting and analyzing intelligence information as it pertains to the ongoing threat posed by ISIL, [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] and other foreign terrorist organizations,” Steinbach said.
“Given the global impact of the Syria and Iraq conflicts, regular engagement with our domestic and foreign partners concerning foreign fighters is critical.”
Within the U.S., Steinbach highlighted the need for information sharing and collaboration across state, local and federal organizations to investigate potential threats from the community level.